Christmas Eve: Charity Covers A Multitude Of Sins

Matthew 1:18-21

Now the generation of Christ was in this wise. When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child, of the Holy Ghost. Whereupon Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing publicly to expose her, was minded to put her away privately. But while he thought on these things, behold the angel of the Lord appeared to him in his sleep, saying: Joseph, son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife, for that which is conceived in her, is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son: and thou shalt call his name JESUS. For he shall save his people from their sins.

In todays Gospel reading we read that when Joseph heard about Mary being pregnant, and not knowing that this was a supernatural work of God in her womb, it says that since he was a just man, he did not want to disgrace her but wanted to cover what he thought was her sin.

There is something we can all learn here about being just. The message of the gospel is essentially how an unjust man can become just. The first person to be called a just man in the New Testament is Joseph. And his justness is mentioned in connection with wanting to cover another person's sin and not shame that person. This is the spirit of a truly just man.


When you hear that somebody has sinned, what is your immediate reaction? If you are a just man, you will want to cover it. If you are an unjust man, you will talk about it to others. There we see that Joseph, who did not have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, and was not under the new covenant, was far more just than millions of believers who claim to be born again. With the standards of the old covenant, Joseph decided to cover what he thought was sin. Thank God he never scandalized Mary. For if he had, can you imagine the regret and remorse he would have had, when he discovered the truth - that she was 100% pure and innocent!!

These things are written for our instruction. How can you take back stories that you have circulated about others if you later discover them to be false? For the one you told them to would have circulated it further to perhaps ten other people who in turn would have spread it even further. So, here is a warning and an example for us from the very first chapter of the New Testament. Cover the sins of others. Learn from Joseph's example.

Shem and Japheth:

In Genesis 9:20-27 we read that Noah got drunk one day and lay naked in his tent. His son Ham saw him and reported this to his brothers. Because Ham dishonored his father in such away, a curse came upon him. Shem and Japheth however walked backwards and covered their father's nakedness. Therefore, they were blessed. There is an important message here for us. This is the first place in Scripture where we read of God punishing a son and his seed for dishonoring his father.

It is a serious matter before God, when we disrespect authority. When you see a weakness in your father or in a man of God, don't expose his nakedness to others, as Ham did, unless you want to get a curse upon yourself. Be like Shem and Japheth and cover it.